The Demon Comes

January 07, 2019:

Cassandra Hack has tracked down some rumors about a person who heals and fights like a Slasher, and she plans a pre-emptive strike. Tracking him down to a particular Russian bar, she sets her trap, like she always does.

Padraic's

A Russian bar in the Bronx.

Characters

NPCs: Dimitri, bar patrons

Mentions: Cassie Hack, Logan

Plot:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

Inferno had passed and the city of Manhattan had relaxed along with it. As if a great held breath had finally been allowed free and finally allowed the people to try and get back to something akin to normalcy. It would be a few months before the damage could fully be recovered. A few months before people perhaps stopped looking deeply into shadowy corners just in case. But some things that would remain forever with the people of New York… were the stories.
"Yeah, shoulda seen it. Critters dropping from the sky like they wuz rain drops, landing and freakin' out with their wings and their tails and junk. Messed up."
"Down at Padraic's? Off on 4th Avenue? When things were the craziest, that guy, sum bitch, he actually started serving some of those gremlin things like they were payin' customers. Sup with that?"
But one story managed to catch the attention of some of the black magic practicioners and arcane experts of the city. The story of a demon that seemed to hunt other demons. A demon that was spoken of by great winged fiends in a tone of respect. Details were few and far between. But if someone was trying to solve that riddle, they'd be able to take up the bread crumbs, to follow the trail and glean small bits of information that would help.
Whatever that demon was it had horns. Pointed things of shadow. It also had long claws with which it caught its prey. It was at times invisible or silent, then only appeared when it was covered in the blood of its enemies. Tall tales. But from it someone might gather at least an image or a behaviour profile.
And then they might follow that trail to Padraic's, where some of the rumors have seemed to originate from. It's there, in that old bar in the Bronx, its clientele mostly silent and grim hunched over their beers or looking up at the Keno display. An unlikely place for the birth of a monster. But all trails seem to lead there.

*

And into the grim and somber bar, Padraic's, comes Cassie. Her black hair might fit in, the vest jacket that she was wearing is being unzipped and removed to reveal the not even half-tee underneath. Between the top and her shorts, is a whole lot of skin, and she's more goth for sure than the clientele here. Hell, she's more goth or punk than most places she walks into most of the time.

Right now she's not carrying her trusty bat, not a single weapon, actually. It's a bar, this place is -filled- with weapons for the initiated in monster hunting like Cassie is and she looks around. "Shit, trying to find a repressed, angry demon in here is like trying to find a strand of hay in a haystack." It's to herself, but it's kind of loud, and definitely vocalized. Well, old bars like this, there's only one place to go for questions - the bartender.

Walking up to the front of the bar, she leans herself onto her elbows and on the bar. "Hey, barkeep." She smirks, "Always wanted to say that. You got any horned demons here?" She questions, and looks around at the patrons, "Looking for a guy, probably, horns, you know, and claws. Big suckers too, the kind you'd see in some kind of torture porn flick? I mean, hell, the horns too maybe, if it's the right kind of flick, right?" And she thinks about that for a moment, "Horny Killer, Torture Clause - some weird lawyer porn there, or uh, maybe …" She snaps her fingers like she's trying to think of a name, "Come on, it's like right on the tip of my tongue… uhhh uhhh…" Grimacing a little bit, she's straining, and in a burst of creativity she says excitedly, and loudly, "A tail of two cocks? Maybe something like that? Anywho… know the guy?" Looking over to the nearest patron at the bar, she kind of gives a smile.

She's loud, and definitely not so 'grim' as the place is, and right now she's really tired of running after monsters. Direct is her weapon of choice. That said, maybe she just wants to get into one of these pornos she's talking about… with the way she's dressed it's a possibility.

*

The man she addresses, too young to be the aforementioned Padraic himself, he looks up as the goth gal steps up. For an instant he takes off his glasses, shines them with his wash cloth, then replaces them on his nose as he looks to her. "Ah," His Odessan accent comes through, "No horned demons. Not for long time, now."
She's drawn attention, eyes sliding her way. Not enough to look to much away from the numbered balls bouncing on the television screens. But enough to take her measure somewhat. The people there are older for the most part. In their fifties or later. There's something on the sound system but it's barely loud enough to be heard over the television itself which is showing a game of bocce ball.
But then the bartender looks down, looks back up. Smirks and says a little hesitantly, "Could say world war 2, Great Asscape, yes?"
Dirty looks are shot his way. Apparently the clientele aren't fans of porn titles.
One of the geezers at the end of the bar calls out, same accent. "You mean demon? Or you mean. The Demon?"

*

"Shit." Cassie grumbles at the idea that there's no horned demons for a long time. She runs her fingers into her hair and holds her head above the bar that way, lazy and her hair comes down along the sides of her face blocking some of her expression. Then she hrms, and looks up. "No… horned demons, but what about… clawed demons?" She then listens a little more and gets the additional title, "Great Asscape, I like it. Could be some nazi chick's first anal, or something. Who doesn't like seeing Nazi's take it up the…" She pauses mid-sentence when one of the geezers starts talking her way.

"I dunno, maybe you talk to me about both of them?" And Cassie leaves her seat, with a two finger salute to the bartender, and makes her way down to the end. "Who's The Demon? I'd wager my right foot's three good toes, it's probably -The- Demon that I'm looking for. You know, scary guy, angry, probably doesn't die easy, heals fast, has an angry fucking disposition. Might have an infatuation with a particular kind of prey, maybe a boobed assed kind, or just likes redheads? Who knows? And usually, not always, but usually has some kind of characteristic weapon of choice… did I mention angry? Like, -very- wake the dead, kind of still-has-a-purpose on earth kind of angry. Sound like this The Demon?"

*

Intaken breaths at her description. Then two of the oldsters at the end of the bar start speaking to each other quickly in Russian. They gesture to the girl and then towards the door, then the girl again. It's all rapid-fire and finally ends with them glaring at her grudgingly.
But the twenty-someting bartender, he smiles and says, "They say you are looking for the man who is called, Logan." He gestures with his hands upwards along his face, "He is. So much the angry. Very grim. Dead eyes. Hair." He swooshes his hands back.
But then the piece de resistance, "And when the monsters came. He was here, with the claws." He gestures with three fingers near his knuckles and swings them outwards while saying, 'shingk'. "He saved us first when the Bratva shake down my father. Then when the demons."
There are nods around, but after that several of the men look back to the Keno screen. Another says, "He comes in. At night sometimes. Likes to drink."
There's a pause and then another says, "And the redheads."
"Da, the redheads."

*

There's a long blank look as the Russians speak in Russian. Cassie knows about as much Russian as you get from playing Call of Duty. And she listens longer before she gets a growing resting bitch face, until finally, someone says a name. "Logan? What poor bastard has parents who name their child Logan. I mean, you couldn't of come up with a better bumfuck no-where name, like Peter Paul Murphy. Does he go by the nickname logs? And is a lumberjack? Holy shit." She turns back to the bartender and says, "There's -got to- be some kind of porn title dealing with lumberjacks and logs. Uh, hmm. Lumberjacks gone logging. It's a gay porn with just hunky dudes, and definitely flannel."

Then back to the conversation at hand, "Sorry. My ex-ex girlfriend was a bad actress after she was a stripper, almost became a porn star, but I killed her mom before she could get that career off the ground. So, always just you know… looping ideas in my head to make up for that." And she listens about the shingking and Bratva, whoever the hell they are, and demons.

"He likes redheads, well, damnit. The one time it'd pay to be a ginger…" Reaching up she scratches at the side of her head, and then she looks back outside. Night huh? She wanders over to a table and settles in on a seat, kicking her combat boots up on the table and leans back, "Alright, by this evening… I'll know how to say at least 3 Russian swear words…" And then she yells back to the bartender, "Can you tell this Logan I'm looking for him? I might be in the back releasing the tides of war on your bathroom in a bit… microwave burritos are… muyi ungratius. And I don't want to miss him."

*

As Cassie speaks she just gets these… blank looks given to her from the men around her. The bartender tries to continue along, to keep up with her, but she loses him halfway along with the lumberjack series of thoughts. So he ends up just smiling and nodding while he wipes down another beer mug.
When she chooses her seat some of the others scoot out of the way. At first she might think it's because they're getting away from her oh so rudely. But a glance to the side and she might realize they're more trying to give her a clear view of the Keno TV, since that's usually why people hang out there.
"You are free to wait, but you must order somethink." The bartender smiles a little as he gestures towards a small black and white sign stapled to the wall near the bar that says, 'Restrooms for Customers Only!' He holds up a bottle of beer and offers it to her then will walk it over towards her if she agrees.

Beyond that, however, the place is quiet. Occasionally she might be included in their conversations as one of the oldsters at the bar is reading a Russian language newspaper and he comments on various stories. This tends to bring up a topic and everyone has their input. The state of the Ukraine. The portals that seem to appear around the city. The Giants and the Jets. All sorts of topics that wend on towards the night time when a new crowd begins to come in. Younger clients, dock-workers from riverside, a few people who might well be slumming. None of the people fitting the description that she was given.
That is until ten minutes before eleven, when things are in full swing, that through the door comes a man that might catch the eye. A weathered man, haggard of expression and grim of feature. He pauses just long enough to take off his jacket and hang it on the row of pegs nearby that serve as a coat rack.
But Cassie must have at least made a friend or two, for she'll get the eye from the bartender who gestures towards Logan and gives her a nod. That's the guy.

*

"For fucks sake. Whatever… is… cheapest." Cassie grumbles and lays her jacket on the table, starting to pull out coins, yes change, that's just been lingering in various pockets. She manages to scrounge a couple dollars worth of loose change, "Well, that's… all I got, whatever this gets me." And even then, whatever 'drink' is brought, she doesn't touch. Clearly not a person who drinks alcohol, as she even pushes it away from her sliding it on the table some to get it 'further away'.

During part of the day, she's in the bathroom. And coming out with a wrinkled nose and an apologetic statement, "Sorry." And then she's waving the air in front of her face before getting back to her seat. During another section of the day she's fallen asleep in the chair, with her feet up. Drooling out of her mouth, and rather unconscious. Loud noises, the change of clientele, nothing seems to wake her up. An hour or so before 11 she startles, and sits upright, "Get away from me Cheddar!" And she's making stabbing motions as she falls backwards in her chair. Hitting the ground, making a ruckus, she gets up, and looks around, before sitting back in her seat and slapping herself in the face to stay awake.

Then finally, on the verge of boredom and dying of waiting, some guy comes in that gets attention from the bartender. And then Logan. As he's hanging up his coat, Cassie yawns, stretching big and raising up the limited shirt to an almost indecent level before she nods her head to the bartender. "Hey, Logan! You… fuck, you -do- look like a lumberjack…" And then she's rapping her knuckles on the table and tapping the worst, cheapest beer she bought hours and hours ago, "I got you a drink…" She offers up a smile and ruffles her hair a bit, "Sorry, raven haired, not a ginger, but still. Drink, chick - irresistable, am I right?"

*

It's rare that Logan's arrival is heralded quite in the same manner. When Cassie lifts her voice and fixes her gaze upon him he draws up a little short. She can tell with that flicker of momentary confusion that flickers over his features. Can tell he doesn't recognize her, and that despite her particular aesthetic… he doesn't let it get in the way of his abrupt judgemennt of her.
"Who's askin'?" The first words he utters as he turns away from the bar, starting to walk across the room towards her table. He stops, sizing her up from the opposite side of the table as he looks her up and down. He's wearing blue jeans, work boots, grey shirt underneath a heavy brown leather bomber jacket. Something definitely of the wild to him. Could be in that grim visage. Or could be the hint of a canine when he speaks.
"You'll have ta forgive me, I meet a lotta strange folks in my life." But to be at least polite he leans forwards and wraps a hand around the bottle of beer. Since, well, it'd be impolite not to accept.
Of course that's the moment when a jagged piece of broken mirror from the bathroom is jammed into his hand by the young woman opposite him. It causes him to pull his hand back sharply, the flesh tearing and a spatter of blood marring the table between them as he takes a step back and growls.
"The Hell?!"

*

It's all peaches and cream till somebody gets hurt. Cassie responds to the whole gruff who's askin' part by saying, "Cassie, just your friendly neighborhood teen, looking to say Hi. I've heard a lot of great things about you." And then as the bottle is grabbed, baited, not in the traditional fashion, but still. She swings out with practiced speed of non-conventional fighting, and stabs him right in the hand with the mirror piece she was gripping hard.

Her hand shows some blood dripping from it as well, it's hard to grip broken glass hard enough to strike with it without having problems. And she is now kicking back the chair, and standing up, holding it in a half-hunkered down position. "What the hell indeed, just waiting…" Her eyes squint and she sees Logan's hand healing up in rapid speed. "What's your name, your -real- name? Like, Santa Claws, or Lumberhack, maybe The Really Plainly Dressed Psycho man? I'm ready… whenever you are Slasher. No need to pretend anymore." And she's waiting for movement, she's used to being a faster than Slashers, well some of them anyhow, but she's always outmatched.

"People here were calling you The Demon, and you are smarter than most, got in on their good side. So they don't see you kill and murder redheads. That's your schtick ain't it? You could be uh, that guy… with the song… you know, the 'Won't you be my neighbor?'. Oh, right, Mister Rogers. So you are Mister Killer Rogers?" She winces a little at the name, and shakes her head, "Forget that one, Lumberhack is way better."

*

"Darlin'," The man's voice is sharp, edged like a blade slipping free of its sheathe. "I have no idea who you are, or what yer doin' here. And I got even less of an idea as to what the hell yer talkin' about." He /smashes/ the end of the bottle on the side of the table, its neck shattering only for him to tilt it back and down the beer in one go before tossing the empty aside.
"But if yer lookin' fer a fight, then I got ya." He says as he grabs the chair back in front of him and /throws/ it to the side, sending it into the wall where it shatters with a crackle.
Of course that's the point when Dimitri, the bartender, lifts his voice panicked. "No Logan, no! Mistakes! There are mistakes happning here!"
Those bright blue eyes find hers as Logan /glares/ his hands held out to his sides and he's hunkered down a bit. But he has enough presence of mind for now to snap. "The hell're you talkin' about, Dimmy?"
"She think you are… blotnik, you are demon!"

*

Okay, that's the first time she's been called Darlin' by a Slasher. It's also the first time she's technically seen a Slasher drink anything except blood. The tossing chair thing isn't new, and nor is the 'I can kill you in less than a heart beat you silly little girl' look. Perhaps oddly, this goth punk chick with nothing but a Mirror Shank doesn't seem scared.

Sure, her heart rate is pumping, something heightened senses probably pick up pretty easily. And then when Logan might just be a bit distracted. Or so, Cassie is hoping, from Dimitri calling out to him. She moves forward trying to jump right on him. That said, she's good and fast for a person, and she's even jumping further than one might expect of the more feminine featured person than Amazonian, clearing the table pretty easily as she is trying to… huhg Logan to death?

It's unlikely she'll get to the grip she wanted, so she can stab Logan in the back a bunch of times, but she's not one for strategy and she is nothing but risky fighting styles. No formal training, at all. Logan probably can detect all these things, and notice her assault since it's clumsy and loud. "Gotcha!"

*

He's all nerve endings and balanced on the balls of his feet. She can see that murderous impulse there in those eyes, the heightened sense of him as his nostrils flare taking in the moment and the scent. It's easy to pick her out of the place, she stands out with her own melange of effort, sweat, blood, and gore. Whatever she's thinking, feeling, she feels she's one hundred percent justified in the moment. One hundred percent hammering with adrenalin and effort as she leaps at him.
"No, goth girl of my dreams, no!" Dimitri calls out in the moment he imagines that this youthful woman is about to be skewered by the Demon of Odessa!
And as she leaps in some stories it might well have ended that way were it not for Dimitri's cry. She hurtles at him and suddenly there is a calloused rough hand around her throat that twists around and abruptly the world bounces as she's turned and /hits/ the ground heavily on her back.
She looks up into the air, into the features of that scowling man as he stands there, beer heavy on his breath. One hip presses down upon her waist to hold her down without giving her an angle to try and knee him. The hand falls away from her neck but only long enough for her to hear him /roar/ as he slashes downwards as there's a _SHING!_ of sound. For some that might well be the end of it.
Only a heartbeat later, two. She'll feel the cold metal on the sides of her neck as two of his claws have extended on either side of it. The third hovering barely an inch forward from the knuckle as he pins her there and scowls.
Then he says low, quietly, "I'm gonna need some answers, girl."

*

Air time. It always works. Well, okay, it's about 50 - 50, sometimes she ends up leaping into a fist, knife, or fire. That wasn't the best. I mean, how do you -not- see fire? And then she's caught in mid-air. Her hand with the mirror shard just starts slashing at the air, trying to hit the taller man even as she feels her body going down down down, and hitting the ground hard.

That works. It knocks the makeshift prison weapon out of her hand as she gasps out hard into the air, sucking in tons of the horrible beer breathe. She coughs, and wheezes, and then shink. Shit. She's going to die and then come back and kill Russian bartenders everywhere. Though… there's… not, a blade in her neck, just along the sides. And she seems, confused. Not, afraid, not worried, not pissing herself? Just… confused.

"I really… should… have bought… a better beer. Your… breathe… stinks." She manages to wheez out, sucking in air as her breath has been knocked from her body pretty badly. "I'm gonna… go out on a limb here, you haven't died before and resurrected yourself by your own pure hate toward redheads, have you?"

*

He continues to look at her scowling all the while. Perhaps he's listening to her, or perhaps he's listening to his own senses as he can tell that she's at the least sincere in her efforts, and perhaps starting to have her own touch of confusion as well. He straightens up a bit, but the claws on the sides of her necks remain in place for now.
"Not towards redheads, nah." That dying thing though…
"If yer lookin' ta shank some demons, kid, yer a few weeks late. They all went back to Limbo. Though if yer dead-set on it I got a friend that might be able ta take you there."
He looks her over again and then sits up further. "But nah. I'm just a guy. A mutant." He eyes Dimitri sidelong slightly, as if telling the young man that he owes him at least a dozen beers because of this, then he looks back to the Goth Gal.
"Now, you gonna behave yerself?" He asks her. And if she seems sincere in her agreement… then those blades whisper back into his forearm with a faint /shnakt/.

*

Going a bit more limp and a lot less tense, Cassie sighs, tilting her head back, "Well, whew. I was this close…" She holds up her hand with thumb and finger like an inch apart, "Okay, maybe more like… this close…" She holds her hands up like she's measuring an imaginary fish she just caught and she's someone's dad. "To killing you. You really need to start wearing a sign or something, Mutie, not a Slasher. Or, lumberjack not The Lumberhack. It would make things a lot less confusing."

With that though you start getting off of her and she sighs out, rubbing her neck, with her hand that had the broken glass in it, but it's not bleeding new blood anymore just smearing a little bit of her old blood. Hand seems fine, "Behave? I'm -always- behaved. Just ask Dimitri over there, we had the creativity juices flowing earlier." A pause, and she thinks, "That sounded… really bad. Sorry, we were just talking about Pornos, not filming one. I know, there's confusion, right? It was because I'm trying to do a favor for my ex ex girlfriend, after I killed her mom." Standing upright now she's breathing in a bit deep, "So… a mutant huh? And I'm more about killing Slashers, monsters and zombies, the occassional tentacle monster non-gender-descriminatory, and rarely, but it happens, beating a vampire to death. I have more friend vampires than, enemies, but …"

Pausing a moment, "You just heal like a Slasher, and fight like one, and … those claws are cool. Mutants get all the luck of the devil." Finding a chair she hooks it with a booted foot to drag it with a quick kick of her leg back to where the other chair was tossed from and settles into it. "Wasted my whole fuckin' day waiting to kill you…"

*

"Life's hard, kid." Logan says as he turns away and affixes Dimitri with a glower that has the young bartender hurrying to pop a few bottles of beer and hurry them out to the table on a tray. He sets them down one at a time on the tabletop, then beats a just as hasty retreat. Perhaps chased on his way a bit by Logan's scowl.
That having been done, Logan grabs one of the two other remaaining empty chairs and yanks it around so he is sitting down in front of her. He takes the bottle up, still eyeing her warily as if half-expecting her to make another play. Then he takes a sip of beer.
"It ain't all, sunshine and rainbows." Being a mutant. The chair creaks as he shifts his weight to the side, leaning forwards. "But you make your livin' killin' monsters?"
There's a pause. Then he asks, "The hell were you last month?" Since really, they coulda used all the help they could have gotten then.

*

"Last month? I was up by Indigo river, saving a camp full of kids from Zombies, meeting my multi-year dead partner in crime after he'd been brought back to life." Cassie thinks about that a moment and then nods her had, "Oh, and I 'did it' with some real sexy blonde." Then she stops, and pauses, looking up and grinning awkwardly, "You can, forget, I said, the last part."

Though she then answers, "Make a living killing monsters? I mean, it's my job, but it's that kind of job like wiping your own kid's ass. No one's going to pay you to do it, but someone has to, right? I'm more of a public service… I guess." And she scoots some of the beers away from herself if any of them were brought too close.

"Sooooooooo, you are some kind of mutant demon then, who kills other demons? When you were younger were you ever, by chance, injected with the blood of an undead killer named Akakios? That sound familiar? Or Black Lamp Society? Any of those things ring a bell? Metal claws is some awesome kind of mutation though, what an upgrade -that- would be."

*

For a time Logan just sort of watches her, listens to her, lets his eyes slide away to the side again to give Dimitri the stink-eye, but then turns his attention back her way. Another drink of beer then he says, "No idea what yer talkin' about."
He shifts on his seat a little to face her more directly and says. "I've fought a lot of things in my time. A mess of critters and creatures and what have you. But I haven't heard anythin' about an Akakios or a Black Lamp society." The way he says that might almost seem dismissive, as if he's not paying her the right respect or considering her maybe some crazy insane asylum escapee.
"Anyways," But then he adds a few more words, "Live long enough all that sorta thing starts to blur together." As if that wrapped up all of her questions into one comfortable package and tied up with a little bow of apathy, he presses on down another avenue of conversation.
"In any case. Just call me Logan. If for some reason you gotta call me somethin'."

*

Suddenly there's buzzing in her jacket vest thing that's on the table, and she fumbles, "Sorry… probably important." And she manages to unzip a pocket, grabs her phone and unflips it. Yes, it's one of those older styled phones, it looks pretty beat up and she answers, "Oh, Cat. Hey. No, I don't… need…" She pauses and slumps her shoulders, rolling her eyes, "Yes, that's all very interesting Cat. I now know how many metric tons of Hippo Shit is transported out of the New York City zoo. A fact, that I'm positive will come in handy at some point killing Slashers. Yes, yes, yes. No. That's what I said, I didn't kill him. It turns out he's just an alcoholic bear of a man, some kind of mutant. Yeah, muuuuut-ant. Oh my god Cat, I do -not- have time for this… No, I didn't mean minutes on the phone." She is getting louder, "Good-bye Cat. Tell Pooch hello. And don't die, whatever you are up to."

Flipping the phone closed she looks back over to Logan, "Apparently, there's a lot of shit being moved in New York. Anyhow, great on the whole not injected with the blood of an undead mass murderer. Just, healing like you do. I've only seen it in them. Though you aren't that old, old, but not -that- old. Akakios was from hundreds of years ago, and he was way younger looking than you. Abs, a great ass… clean shaven. That's a big plus…" She stops and blinks, shaking her head a little, "Well, I should head off and go scrounge up some food, or let Dario catch us a rat. Let me give you my number, incase there's more demons, monsters, shit like that that shows up."

*

A little increduously, Logan eyes her sidelong and agrees, "Alright." No harm in taking her number. Sure she stabbed him but lots of people have stabbed him. Of course he doesn't exactly reciprocate the favor and instead tells her. "If I start runnin' into monsters and zombies or whatever, you'll be the first crazy goth kid I think of."
At that he pushes his seat out and to the side. And once she's off he'll turn around towards Dimitri and gesture. "Alright Dimitri. Come here. Come /here/."
Ruefully, Dimitr slowly walks over towards the table as if he were going to confront the firing squad.

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